Whew! It’s been awhile since I have written! The last two months have been insanely busy, and I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few days wondering what it is that I could even write about. It’s the end of the year. And while I don’t have any “new year, new me” speeches to give, on December 7th I celebrated 8 years of sobriety. It’s been quite a ride.
As I said, the last couple of months have been pretty crazy. I just finished my last semester of college, so the last two months I have been scrambling to finish papers, projects, and finals. I graduated with honors a couple of weeks ago and already have a new job! It’s funny how things happen and when they happen.
Those of you who have followed me for awhile know that my husband and I have struggled with infertility for quite some time. We gave up on treatments about a year ago and have been waiting for placement in the adoption process. You can imagine my surprise when I found out that I was pregnant at the beginning of November – surprised, excited, and grateful. At our 8-week ultrasound, my husband and I could hardly wait to see our little baby. However, what started as excitement quickly evaporated into disbelief as we learned that our baby no longer had a heartbeat. I had a D&C the following week.
I haven’t really had time to process everything yet. It was only a few days after my D&C that several of my family members came into town to see me graduate. Their visit lasted for about a week, and then my husband and I were off for our own road trip to spend the holidays with his family. The week we got back, I started my new job. It’s been nuts, and I think it’s only been within the last few days that I have felt just about every emotion under the sun. This isn’t my first miscarriage – it’s my third. I will get through this just like I got through the others. In the meantime, I’m allowing myself to feel what it is that I need to feel. That’s one of the many gifts of sobriety – I can feel the feelings and not numb them. That doesn’t mean it isn’t painful though.
So what is life like at 8 years sober? I could write an entire book on the changes that have happened from the beginning until now (and one day I probably will). But today, I have been reflecting on the obvious changes.
When I first got sober, I had no car, no job, a negative bank account, and pending criminal charges. I was in a deeply unhealthy marriage and felt utterly lost and alone. Today, I am so grateful for the desperation that I felt back then because it finally made me willing to start doing something different. I held onto my twelve-step program and support group, and miracles began happening. The first one being that I stopped wanting to drink or use drugs.
Eight years later, I am financially secure, have a car, a home, an awesome marriage to my best friend, a college degree, and great friends. After about a year of being sober, my criminal charges were dropped and I recently was able to take a background check and drug screen for a new job – without any worry whatsoever. Might seem like nothing to some, but passing a drug test is still something I get jazzed about!
Life has come a long way. A lot of things have gone the way I had hoped, and many things haven’t. But that’s okay. I have the ability to live life on life’s terms today. It doesn’t mean that I don’t get angry or sad when something terrible happens. Some days I am spiritually fit and others I’m not. I allow myself to be human and simply try to always do the next right indicated thing.
So – it’s a new year. Who knows what it will bring. I try not to focus on that. I hope to continue to stay on the path that I have been placed and follow the trail of bread crumbs that God lays before me. That’s all we can do really. After all, it’s only one day at a time, right? Wishing all of my recovery community a happy, safe, and serene 2019. We all deserve it.